Gabriela Perezutti wants to take Candela to the next level.
After being inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America last week, Perezutti, the brand’s founder and designer, is focused on revamping Candela’s digital presence and becoming more competitive in the contemporary market.
In December, Candela will relaunch Candelanyc.com with a new strategy. The site will feature the brand’s own ready-to-wear and accessories in addition to home goods, jewelry and other categories by lesser-known labels.
“They aren’t going to compete with Candela, but complement it,” she said of brands like Bing Bang jewelry and Juana de Arco clothing. “We want to explain what the world of Candela is and what we like.”
Perezutti added that social media would play a bigger role moving forward. Pinterest, for one, already has helped the brand boost sales. “We want to learn as much as we can about [social media]. It’s such a changing world for us,” she said.
And so is the growing contemporary market, where Perezutti believes Candela, which has starting price points of $240, still has a strong hold.
“We compete with large brands that do great product at a lower price point, so you have to give [consumers] something they can’t find anywhere else,” she said. “We are trying to aim very hard each season to improve the quality … so our customer gets more.”
Here, Perezutti talks about her love for shoes, working on pre-collections and being a new member of the CFDA.
1. How important has footwear become to your brand?
GP: We launched clothes in 2004 and shoes in 2006. Shoes are what we are mainly known for, and I think it makes sense [because] shoes have a larger part of my heart [than apparel]. I’m passionate about shoes to the point of it not being normal. Shoes are an important part of a person’s style and [explain] who they are and what they want to say.
2. Now that you’ve been doing interim collections for two years, how has it affected your business?
GP: It’s changed the process because it’s more labor intensive, but it’s something that’s very in demand. The customer wants new product all the time. They browse online retailers and then in a couple of weeks they want to see more. You have to be able to provide in that way. It’s one of the new [initiatives] that [we’ve] adapted to and you definitely see that it’s a key part of the revenue.
3. What does it mean to be a part of the CFDA?
GP: It’s a great honor to be recognized by people you admire. It’s such a long road in this industry and all these milestones give you strength for the next one. It gives a sense of security to your work. The CFDA is such a great organization to be part of because you’re not only in company with [talented] people, but it motivates you to help and give to others.